Latest Progress – Ceilings crashing down!

Thanks to friends who are parents of kids in our middle child’s preschool class, the entire northwest quadrant of the ceiling has been removed, beams exposed. Everything looks fabulous so far…

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Our friend Jonathan helps Heath pull down the ceiling in the west side of the building.

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You can see framing where a previous owner cut through the beams for a previous ceiling attachment. Hopefully we can restore the original beams and cross supports.

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Kind of hard to see from this picture, but we’ve got a great solid pitched roof above original solid beams in the oldest part of the upper story. Can you believe that these beams are about 160 years old?!?! So awesome!

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All gone! View facing north from south end of building, showing beautiful beams. Also, the camera lens warped the middle – the beams are straight, not hanging.

… except for the window that got smashed on Sunday. We’re still not ready to replace it, so for now we have to get a plexiglass pane. Apparently the city doesn’t want us to just cover it with plastic or plywood because it is on Main Street. Oddly enough, the building directly across from us has had plywood over its windows since we purchased the building over a year ago. Oh well. We will play nice. 😉

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Lower pane of window is gone. Got all of the glass out of the street. The entire window and frame will be replaced, but we’re not ready to do that just yet, so a cheap plexiglass will have to do for a few months to keep the birds and the rain out.

Another bit of work done was to secure the wall where the cross beam is attached, as it is a little crumbly.

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Further braced a crumbling support wall and beam. Odd to think that 160 years ago, that arched window looked out east over Brenham, before it was bricked up and make into a wall.

Interesting finds of the weekend included a 1960’s era empty Coca-Cola can (forgot to get a photo of that), a blob of plaster and palette with the mason’s final swish through it, and a mysterious foot-long iron hook hung high up in the rafters.

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Frozen in time

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Large hook hung from the ceiling found underneath dropped ceiling. Any guesses? Maybe it was installed to hold original electric lines?

So what’s next? Removing the rest of the ceiling. And there’s still a lot to go – a little more than half. Also, all of the wood we recover needs to have nails pulled and sorted by type and/or size. And we have another dumpster full of debris building up. Lets not forget the back stairwell – that will take some careful handling and likely some construction of scaffolding.

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More dropped ceiling to be removed, and the last wall that needs to be taken down. Also, the last of the carpet is in this “room” hiding more hardwood floors.

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Freshly removed tongue-and-groove planks from the ceiling, all needing nails to be removed before sorting and repurposing.

Due to a number of other obligations keeping us busy, we’ll not be working more than a few hours here and there during the entire month of March. Frustrating, but necessary. We’ll pick back up in April, including a large, open-invite work weekend April 15th and 16th (please join us!). After the ceilings are gone, up comes the floor, and then  actual construction can begin!

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